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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That breathing cave is air movement through a cave is described as breathing when it reverses more frequently than the seasonal reversal of a through-draught in a cave with higher and lower entrances. slow breathing occurs in response to barometric pressure changes, when the volume of cave air is forced to change. it is notoriously strong in large caves of the australian nullarbor plain. more rapid wind reversals or oscillations, as in breathing cave, virginia, are a resonance phenomenon, similar to the effect produced by air passing over the neck of a bottle. in the cave environment the resonant frequency is relatively low and periodic air flow reversals occur, rather than the sound waves observed at the higher frequencies met in the bottle neck example [9].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for carbon-dioxide (Keyword) returned 24 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 24
A possible mechanism for growth of calcite speleothems without participation of biogenic carbon dioxide, 1982, Dreybrodt W,
Using Plummer et al.'s [11] rate equations on the dissolution and deposition of CaCO3 in H2O---CO2 systems, we have calculated deposition rates of CaCO3 to stalagmites in caves which are covered by glaciers or bare karst. In this case no biogenic CO2 from vegetated soil is available and the deposition of CaCO3 involves only atmospheric CO2. The mechanism of deposition proceeds by a temperature effect. Cold melting waters of about 0[deg]C dissolve CaCO3 under open system conditions at the surface of the rock. When this solution saturated with respect to CaCO3, flows through the limestone rock its temperature increases by several degrees. Therefore, it becomes supersaturated, and CaCO3 is deposited under open system conditions in the warmer cave. Maximal growth rates of about 10-3 cm/year are possible. From the kinetics of the deposition of CaCO3 from the thin water films present at the surface of stalagmites we are able to estimate the isotopic composition of carbon in the CaCO3 deposited on the stalagmites to be approximately [delta]13C = %, which is close to some observed values.From our data we conclude that substantial growth of stalagmites is possible during glacial periods as well as in areas of bare karst, a question which was not resolved up to now


Limestone caves form along ground-water paths of greatest discharge and solutional aggressiveness. Flow routes that acquire increasing discharge accelerate in growth, while others languish with negligible growth. As discharge increases, a maximum rate of wall retreat is approached, typically about 0.01-0.1 cm/yr, determined by chemical kinetics but nearly unaffected by further increase in discharge. The time required to reach the maximum rate is nearly independent of kinetics and varies directly with flow distance and temperature and inversely with initial fracture width, discharge, gradient, and P(CO2). Most caves require 10(4) - 10(5) yr to reach traversable size. Their patterns depend on the mode of ground-water recharge. Sinkhole recharge forms branching caves with tributaries that join downstream as higher-order passages. Maze caves form where (1) steep gradients and great undersaturation allow many alternate paths to enlarge at similar rates or (2) discharge or renewal of undersaturation is uniform along many alternate routes. Flood water can form angular networks in fractured rock, anastomotic mazes along low-angle partings, or spongework where intergranular pores are dominant. Diffuse recharge also forms networks and spongework, often aided by mixing of chemically different waters. Ramiform caves, with sequential outward branches, are formed mainly by rising thermal or H2S-rich water. Dissolution rates in cooling water increase with discharge, CO2 content, temperature, and thermal gradient, but only at thermal gradients of more than 0.01-degrees-C/m can normal ground-water CO2 form caves without the aid of hypogenic acids or mixing. Artesian flow has no inherent tendency to form maze caves. Geologic structure and stratigraphy influence cave orientation and extent, but alone they do not determine branch-work versus maze character

The C-13 and O-18 contents of cryogenic calcites formed by expulsion during the freezing of bicarbonate groundwaters are examined. Samples from karst caves within the permafrost region of northern Yukon, Canada, have deltaC-13-values as high as 17.0 parts per thousand, representing the most isotopically enriched freshwater carbonates yet reported. To account for such enrichments, calcium bicarbonate solutions were frozen and sublimated under controlled laboratory conditions. The rapid rate of reaction is shown to effectively preclude isotopic equilibration during bicarbonate dehydration, resulting in a kinetic partitioning of C-13 between CO2 and CaCO3. We find a value of 31.2 1.5 parts per thousand for 1000ln13alpha(KIE)(13alpha(KIE) = 1.032), which is considerably greater than the equilibrium fractionation factor (13epsilon(CaCO3-CO2)) of 10.3 parts per thousand at 0-degrees-C. This kinetic isotope effect (KIE) represents the ratio of the absolute reaction rate constants (13k(d)/12k(d)) for the two isotopic species during the dehydration of dissolved bicarbonate. Similar results for deltaO-18-values confirm that the reaction proceeds without isotope exchange. The KIE of O-18 is determined to be 1.006 for this reaction at 0-degrees-C. These data are compared with the KIE which occurs during the reverse reaction: CO2 hydroxylation by reaction with OH- in hyperalkaline waters

Carbonate chemistry of surface waters in a temperate karst region: the southern Yorkshire Dales, UK, 1992, Pentecost Allan,
A detailed study of surface water chemistry is described from an important limestone region in northern England. Major ions and pH were determined for 485 sites (springs, seeps, streams, rivers and lakes) during summertime. The saturation state of the waters with respect to calcite was determined as the calcite saturation ratio ([Omega]). An unexpectedly large number of samples were found to be supersaturated (65.5% of the 268 km of watercourses surveyed). As a consequence, several streams entering major cave systems were incapable of further limestone solution, at least during periods of low flow. Many waters were supersaturated from their source and some deposited travertine. A significant negative correlation was found between spring discharge and both ([Omega]) and pH. Supersaturation was caused primarily by atmospheric degassing, with some contribution from aquatic plant photosynthesis.The median total dissolved inorganic carbon and Ca concentrations were 2.49 and 1.35 millimoles 1-1 respectively. Calcium originated exclusively from limestone, and carbon dioxide mainly from the soil and dissolved limestone. South facing catchments provided springwaters with significantly higher levels of TDIC and Ca when compared with north facing catchments. The study suggests that acid rain made a measurable contribution to limestone dissolution.Carboniferous limestone denudation rates were estimated as 54 to 63 m3 km-2 a-1 (54 to 63 mm 1000 years-1). About 50% of the Mg came from limestone and the remainder, together with most K, Na, SO4 and Cl from precipitation.Concentrations of dissolved nutrients were low, medians for NO3, NH4, total PO4 and SiO3 were 24 [mu]mol, 1.4 [mu]mol, 0.64 [mu]mol and 15.5 [mu]mol 1-1 respectively. The concentration of a further 23 trace elements was determined

Thermodynamic equilibrium, kinetics, activation barriers, and reaction mechanisms for chemical reactions in Karst Terrains, 1997, White W. B. ,
Chemical reactions pertinent to karst systems divide broadly into (a) speciation reactions within aqueous solutions, (b) dissolution/precipitation and other acid/base reactions between aqueous solutions and solid minerals, and (c) redox reactions involving various carbon and sulfur-bearing species. As a backdrop against which other chemistry can be evaluated, selected phase diagrams and equilibrium speciation diagrams were calculated for the system Ca--Mg--O--H--C--S. The kinetics of reactions within this system span time scales from milliseconds for homogeneous reactions in solution through hundreds of hours for carbonate mineral dissolution reactions, to geologic time scales for reactions such as the aragonite/calcite inversion or the oxidation/reduction of native sulfur. In purely inorganic systems, kinetic barriers, typically on the order of tens of kJ/mole, are set by nucleation processes and by activated complex formation. Biological processes impact the purely inorganic chemistry by the following mechanisms: (a) Secretions and waste products from biological activity or consumption of CO2 by organisms changes the chemistry in the microenvironments of reaction surfaces. Oxidation potentials, pH, and ion activities may be modified, thus shifting equilibria. (b) Reaction rates may be increased due to modification of activated complexes and thus the activation barriers to reaction. (c) Organic compounds or microorganisms may act as substrates, thus lowering nucleation barriers. The preservation of microorganisms in cave deposits does not necessarily prove a cause and effect relationship

The inhibiting action of intrinsic impurities in natural calcium carbonate minerals to their dissolution kinetics in aqueous H2O-CO2 solutions, 1999, Eisenlohr L, Meteva K, Gabrovsek F, Dreybrodt W,
We have measured the surface controlled dissolution rates of natural calcium carbonate minerals (limestone and marble) in H2O-CO2 solutions by using free drift batch experiments under closed system conditions with respect to CO2, at 10 degrees C with an initial partial pressure of carbon dioxide of 5.10(-2) atm. All experiments revealed reaction rates F, which can be described by the empirical relation: F-n1 = k(n1) . (1 - c/c(eq))(n1) for c < c(s), which switches to a higher order n(2) for calcium concentrations c greater than or equal to c(s) described by F-n2 = k(n2) . (1 - c/c(eq))(n2) . k(n1) and k(n2) are rate constants in mmole/(cm(2) . s), c(eq) is the equilibrium concentration with respect to calcite. The values of the constants n(1), n(2), k(n1), k(n2) and c(s) depend on the V/A ratio employed, where V is the volume of the solution and A is the surface area of the reacting mineral. Different calcium carbonate minerals exhibit different values of the kinetic constants. But generally with increasing V/A, there is a steep variation in the values of all kinetic constants, such that the rates are reduced with increasing V/A ratio. Finally with sufficiently large V/A these values become constant. These results are explained by assuming intrinsic inhibitors in the bulk of the mineral. During dissolution these are released from the calcite matrix and are adsorbed irreversibly at the reacting surface, where they act as inhibitors. The thickness d of the mineral layer removed by dissolution is proportional to the VIA ratio. The amount of inhibitors released per surface area is given by d c(int), where c(int) is their concentration id the bulk of the mineral. At low thicknesses up to approximate to 3 . 10(-4) cm in the investigated materials, the surface concentration of inhibitors increases until saturation is attained for thicknesses above this value. To analyze the surface concentration and the type of the inhibitors we have used Auger spectroscopy, which revealed the presence of aluminosilicate complexes at the surface of limestone, when a thickness of d approximate to 10(-3) cm had been removed by dissolution. In unreacted samples similar signals, weaker by one order of magnitude, were observed. Depth profiles of the reacted sample obtained by Ar-ion sputtering showed the concentration of these complexes to decrease to the concentration observed in the unreacted sample within a depth of about 10 nm. No change of the concentration with depth was observed in unreacted samples. These data suggest that complexes of aluminosilicates act as inhibitors, although other impurities cannot be excluded. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd

Soil-released carbon dioxide from microbial biomass carbon in the cultivated soils of karst areas of southwest China, 2000, Piao H. C. , Wu Y. Y. , Hong Y. T. , Yuan Z. Y. ,

Trioctahedral smectite is a constituent of Mg-rich carbonate crusts and moonmilks (pasty deposits) in caves of the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. Energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis of individual crystallites and their aggregates along with the X-ray diffraction analysis indicates that the smectite is probably stevensite. Saponite is likely present in some samples also. The smectite is intimately associated with dolomite crusts and huntite moonmilks in Carlsbad Cavern, Lechuguilla Cave, and other dolostone caves. Clay particles appear as fibers and films, with aggregates comprising decimicron-sized filamentous masses that envelop crystals of dolomite, huntite, and magnesite. The occurrence of smectite is related to the genesis of the Mg-rich carbonate minerals. In water films, progressive evaporation and carbon dioxide loss results in the sequential precipitation of Mg-rich calcite, aragonite, dolomite, huntite, and magnesite. This sequence of carbonate precipitation removes Ca and greatly increases the Mg/Ca ratio in the solutions. Silica is commonly available probably because of high pH conditions, and consequently, smectite forms in the Mg-rich alkaline environment. Along with the Mg-rich carbonate minerals, opal, quartz, and uranyl vanadates may precipitate with the smectite

Investigations of microbial origin of karst corrosion of soils depending on different temperatures, 2001, Zambo L. , Horvath G. , Telbisz T. ,
The acids accumulating in soils and controlling the solution of carbonates including the predominant CO2, mostly derive from three processes: i) root respiration of higher plants; ii) decomposition of soil organic matter by microorganisms (microbiota) and iii) other decomposition processes not associated with microbial activities. The solution effect under rendzina soils is primarily used for the dissolution of the enclosed limestone fragments and thus here the solution of bedrock is of limited scale. Below karst soils of high clay content the corrosion of bedrock is more intensive than under rendzinas. On the whole, the amount of carbonates dissolved and transported Into the depths of the karst is smaller than below rendzinas. In each soil type studied the solution caused by microbial activities manifold exceeds the rate of solution resulting from temperature factor but there is a manifest dropping trend from rendzina to clays

Le gaz carbonique dans la dynamique de l'atmosphere des cavites karstiques : l'exemple de l'Aven d'Orgnac (Ardeche): Carbon dioxide in karst cavity atmosphere dynamics: the example of the Aven d'Orgna, 2001, Bourges F, Mangin A, D'hulst D,
ResumeLe suivi des teneurs en CO2 de l'atmosphere de grotte montre que le transfert aerodynamique peut etre un processus majeur de la dynamique du systeme karstique. Les parametres meteorologiques et la geometrie des cavites controlent les echanges entre l'atmosphere souterraine et l'exterieur. L'air enrichi en CO2 biogenique transite en ecoulement diphasique par le reseau microfissural depuis le sol jusque dans la grotte ou il est produit en continu au niveau des parois. L'analyse des vidanges aerodynamiques de zones confinees et des mesures de debit donnent la production moyenne de CO2 par unite de surface dans la cavite

New constraints on the origin of the Australian Great Barrier Reef: Results from an international project of deep coring, 2001, Drilling Icfgbr,
Two new boreholes provide the first direct evidence of the age of the Australian Great Barrier Reef. An inner shelf sequence (total depth, 86 m; basal age = 210 {} 40 ka) comprises a dominantly siliciclastic unit (thickness [~]52-86 m), overlain by four carbonate units (total thickness 0-34 m). A shelf-edge and slope sequence (total depth 210 m) reveals three major sections: (1) a lower section of resedimented flows deposited on a lower slope, (2) a mid-section including intervals of corals, rhodoliths, and calcarenites with low- angle graded laminae, and (3) an upper section of four shelf- margin coral-reef units separated by karst surfaces bearing paleosols. Sr isotope and magnetostratigraphic data indicate that the central Great Barrier Reef is relatively young (post Bruhnes-Matuyama boundary time), and our best estimate for the onset of reef growth on the outer barrier system is ca. 600 {} 280 ka. This date suggests that reef initiation may have been related to the onset of full eccentricity-dominated glacio-eustatic sea-level oscillation as inferred from large-amplitude 'saw-tooth' 100 k.y. {delta}18O cycles (after marine isotope stage 17), rather than to some regional environmental parameter. A major question raised by our study is whether reef margins globally display a similar growth history. The possibility of a global reef initiation event has important implications for basin to shelf partitioning of CaCO3, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and global temperature change during Quaternary time

Soil carbon dioxide in a summer-dry subalpine karst, Marble Mountains, California, USA, 2001, Davis J, Amato P, Kiefer R,
Studies of the seasonality, spatial variation and geomorphic effects of Soil CO2 concentrations in a summer-dry subalpine karst landscape in the Marble Mountains, Klamath National Forest, California, demonstrate the significance of soil moisture as a limiting factor. Modeled actual evapotranspiration (AET) in the four weeks prior to sampling explains 36% of the observed soil-CO2 concentrations, pointing to the importance of root respiration processes in these systems. Late snows are significant in controlling the timing of a snowmelt-initiated pulse of respiration and groundwater. CO2 concentrations were measured at multiple sites in two seasons - 1995 and 1997 - with contrasting patterns of snowmelt. Other than wet-meadow anomalies, where CO2 concentrations reached up to 3.8% in midsummer, alpine meadows on schist were the sites of the highest spring peak concentrations of approximately 1%. Forest sites and sites with thin soils on marble typically peaked at approximately 0.5%, also within a month of snowmelt exposure. Ongoing karstification in the upper bare karst is focused in soil-filled grikes where late-season snowmelt concentrates flow during high-respiration periods, but the lack of active speleothem development suggests that the carbonate solution system is greatly reduced from preglacial periods

The hypogenic caves: a powerful tool for the study of seeps and their environmental effects, 2002, Forti P, Galdenzi S, Sarbu Sm,
Research performed in caves has shown the existence of significant effects of gas seeps, especially CO2 and H2S, within subterranean voids. Carbon dioxide causes important corrosive effects and creates characteristic morphologies (e.g., bell-shaped domes, bubble's trails), but is not involved in the deposition of specific cave minerals. On the other hand, in carbonate environments, hydrogen sulfide when oxidized in the shallow sections of the aquifer generates important corrosion effects and is also responsible for the deposition of specific minerals of which gypsum is the most common.Studies performed in the last few years have shown that H2S seeps in caves are associated with rich and diverse biological communities, consisting of large numbers of endemic species. Stable isotope studies (carbon and nitrogen) have demonstrated that these hypogean ecosystems are entirely based on in situ production of food by chemoautotrophic microorganisms using energy resulting from the oxidation of H2S.Although located only 20 m under the surface, Movile Cave does not receive meteoric waters due to a layer of impermeable clays and loess that covers the Miocene limestone in which the cave is developed. In the Frasassi caves, where certain amounts of meteoric water seep into the limestone, the subterranean ecosystems are still isolated from the surface. As the deep sulfidic waters mix with the oxigenated meteoric waters, sulfuric acid limestone corrosion is accelerated resulting in widespread deposition of gypsum onto the cave walls.Both these caves have raised a lot of interest for biological investigations regarding the chemoautotrophically based ecosystems, demonstrating the possibility of performing such studies in environments that are easily accessible and easy to monitor compared to the deep-sea environments where the first gas seeps were discovered

A rare landform: Yerkopru travertine bridges in the Taurids Karst Range, Turkey, 2002, Bayari Cs,
Two examples of travertine bridges are observed at 8 to 15 in above stream level in the Lower Zamanti Basin, Eastern Taurids, Turkey. Yerkopu-1 and Yerkopru-2 bridges are currently being deposited front cool karstic groundwaters with log P-CO2 > 10(-2) atm. The surface area and the total volume of travertine in Yerkopru-1 bridge are 4350 m(2) and 40 000 m(3), whereas the values for Yerkopru-2 are 2250 m(2) and 20000 m(3), respectively. The interplay of hydrogeological Structure, local topography, calcite-saturated hanging springs, algal activity and rapid downcutting in the streambed appear to have led to the formation of travertine bridges. Aeration through cascades and algal uptake causes efficient carbon dioxide evasion that enhances travertine formation. Algal curtains aid lateral development of travertine rims across the stream. Model calculations based on a hypothetical deposit in the form of a half-pyramid implied that lateral development should have occurred from both banks of the stream in the Yerkopru-1 bridge, whereas one-sided growth has been sufficient for Yerkopru-2. The height difference between travertine springs and the main strearn appears to be a result of Pleistocene glaciation during which karstic base-level lowering was either stopped or slowed down while downcutting in the main strearn continued. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

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